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Sometimes the original stock stuff just works well enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #362
Well, to be real, the pertronix is just as aftermarket - just older, analog tech. It's definitely a lot simpler to deal with. I still want to try and get this programmable unit working. I've got to have something to tinker with!

cheers,
Brian
 

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Discussion Starter #363
danville concorso

Just for the heck of it, Ruth Anne and I drove our Z's over to the Danville Concorso and spent the day chatting with other car-nerds and trying to stay cool. I think I had five massive ice teas from the Starbucks across the street from us (did you know they give you free refills?).

Parked between a 4C and another Z, it's actually surprising how much bigger a 4C is than a Junior Z.

The ride back was seriously HOT. It felt like an oven. The car stayed reasonably cool, which was good. I'm wondering if the 123 was too advanced. I'll keep testing it out.

cheers,
Brian
 

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Discussion Starter #364
Skaggs Spring Road run

Took the car on an Oyster run up to Tomales Bay last Sunday. It was incredibly hot and lots of traffic. The temp gauge is still indicating some pretty high temps but I feel fairly certain it's a gauge issue.

We finally got past the traffic and had a chance to really open the car up on Skaggs Spring Road. For those of you not familiar, it's a well known rally road that connects CA Rt.1 with CA 101. Something like 30 miles of winding hills and canyons between the inner and outer coastal ranges. The eastern half of the road is very well maintained and banked - feels like a racetrack. There's very little traffic, too.

The views are stunning but as is usually the case, there was little time to enjoy them - I was focused on up/down shifting and anticipating the road ahead. I wasn't driving flat out as I'm still breaking in the tires and brakes. Got past both of those break-in periods on this drive - I could feel the brakes start to really bit towards the end.

For any of you who have not driven a Junior Z - especially one that's been upgraded to a 1750 or 2ltr, I highly recommend that you add this to your bucket list. It's some serious adrenaline. I've had a number of hot alfas, including an extensively upgraded '60 Spider and a track modified '69 GTV. You really can't compare either to a Z when it comes to road handling and adhesion. The rear tires never break free - it's incredibly how stable these cars are...

Anyone been out driving their car at all? It would be great to hear about ppl's recent driving experiences.

cheers,
Brian
 

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Looks great

Just catching up with this thread. I dissent, I can fully support leaving the badges off--then absolutely no one will ever be able to identify the make of your car!

Still hot and rainy here, for about one more month. I did drive the car about 80 miles a few weeks ago. It's a 1300, and the gearing is really short. Spinning 4300 rpm at 74 mph. But very happy at those revs.
Car in the shop now, aftermarket period magnesium wheels getting refinished and putting fresh repro Pirelli CN36 rubber on. The wheel painter is taking his time! Car has to run tubes--wheels very porous.
After that to the headliner shop to fix the sag.
Got a new momo prototipo wheel and also a new Vitaloni Sebring side mirror. Fixing the wonky driver's seatback that likes to fall down. Then shje will be good to go.

So, hopefully I can get her on the road for good in about 2-3 weeks.

I envy you for those California roads, but my work is tied to this area, so I will have to be content.

Scott
Sanibel FL
 

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Discussion Starter #366
Thanks for the update!

Yeah - the hot humid can take some of the joy out of driving a Z. Personally, I don't mind the heat - I've taken some longer drives in 100-105deg (but dry heat).

My car has a limited slip from a seventies spider. Nice improvement - the 1750/longer diff combo makes the short transmission feel really sensible.

Love the wheels on your car. I was looking for a set for a while but finally gave up. The variety has gone from the vintage wheel market I'm afraid. Still, the 15" GTa wheels have proven to be a good choice so far. I've really been liking the Dunlops I'm running. A lot more rubber than I've ever had on a car (other than my old Verde).

The seatback fix is something I need to get to as well. I'll probably have my seats re-done (again) next year and take care of it then...

My folks are in town and I'm driving my Mom down to Monterrey this weekend. She used to have a TR-3 back in high-school (her Dad bought it for her!) but I don't think she's been in a vintage coupe since - we took a drive in my Giulia Super once a while back.

cheers,
Brian
 

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Discussion Starter #368
Yeah. I always carry one of those. Extremely useful! Amazing how inexpensive they are these days.

Sadly, I didn't get very far on my way down to Monterrey. About ten minutes from my house, the temp gauge spiked. I pulled over to see if it was a sender issue. Using my trusty laser thermometer, I noted that the radiator was about 50deg (Celsius) on one side and 90deg on the other. The top hose was pretty hot - 110 or so, and the intake manifold was closer to 130deg.

The car was running fine and I didn't see any coolant anywhere. Figured I'd give it a shot getting it back downhill to my shop. No dice. Got about 20 feet before the radiator boiled over, emptying its contents onto the street and the bottom half of the engine compartment.

I'm going to pull the radiator and check the thermostat, to start. I didn't see any foam in the oil nor have I noticed any oil in the coolant. Figure I'll start with taking the radiator to the shop and go from there.

Here's the good spin - "nice to have another project, I was getting a little bored" ;)

cheers,
Brian
 

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Discussion Starter #369
maintenance update

Hey folks - took everything apart and lo-and-behold it turned out to be the thermostat. I'm pretty sure it was bad out of the box. The engine in this car (a 1750) always ran cool so it was a bit of a surprise that temp has always been an issue. Just replaced the coolant and started it up for about 20 minutes. It barely crept past the middle of the gauge. Hopefully that'll be that.

If everything goes well I'll be driving down to Santa Cruz tomorrow to pick up my friend's Sunbeam Alpine that's just being finished up at a shop down there.

I'll post some pics from the trip when I can (assuming everything goes well).

cheers,
Brian
 

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Discussion Starter #370
Back on the road.

Replaced the thermostat, refilled, bled and test-drove. My friend Dave was nice enough to take a few snaps during a Berkeley Hills-top bio break (my favorite pic thus far).

Heading up the coast this weekend for another more aggressive drive. Hopefully everything will continue to be operational!

cheers,
Brian
 

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Discussion Starter #371
We've had a very wet winter here in the Bay - very much needed. Still, it's kept the Zagato off the streets for the last eight weeks.

Meanwhile, I've decided that I'm going to start driving in track day events. There is a group up at Thunder Hill that hosts one about once every two months.

Starting this week I'm going to begin some minor prep to fulfill the various requirements for the event. Nothing too complicated - front/rear tow hooks, etc. Not installing a fuel cell or anything.

I'm going to start looking for a spare 1750 in the next few months. My 2017-18 project will be to build a second motor. Maybe something with a bit more umpf.

cheers,
Brian
 

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Let me tell you, with the original anemic 1300, you really had to row the transmission to get any speed out of it, esp in the hills of Scotland and the Alps. Definitely slower than my 1600 Sprint GT I was driving back home.

It is such a pretty car now.
 

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Discussion Starter #373
Getting the car ready for a vintage rally this weekend. The temperatures are expected to be in the high nineties all weekend. It's going to be a sweaty one.

I'm considering getting a new exhaust installed before the run. I've been very dissatisfied with the sound of the stock unit and the NOS rear section is already completely covered in surface rust.

As soon as my Giulia is back on the road, the Z is going to go back into the shop for some general improvements. I'm going to pull the manifold and send it to Jet Hot - something I should have done when I was putting the car back together. It's also going to be time to pull the dash and get all the gauges working correctly. I've been without a functioning oil pressure and fuel gauge since putting the car back on the road. I may pull the forward section of the dash and have a metal version made - the plastic repro piece I have in there warps and creases when it gets hot (probably the same as the original).

It'll be fun to do some work on the Z again. I've done nothing but drive it for a year now!

cheers,
Brian
 

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Hey Brian,

I've done a few of the things you plan:
Exhaust - I installed the AlfaHolics stainless steel system (from headers to tailpipe) and it looks and sound fantastic. Recommended!


Also had problems with my front section of the dash. 1600s are plastic from new so cracks and waves are inherent. I covered it (along with the rest of the dash) with a good quality vinyl.





Enjoy you Z - I just drove mine for the first time in a long time - fully working now. New driveshaft, carbs tuned, 123 Ignition set properly - Wow - 3k rpm up is amazing.
 

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Discussion Starter #375
That exhaust looks amazing. You have tubular headers, too? I'm looking at their site and I'm not seeing a system that bolts to the cast headers.

Ran out of time in regards to getting exhaust work completed. I figure I'll wait and take the time to order the exact right setup. I'd like it to be as awe inspiring as yours and the magnaflow system Morgan has in his 1600.

cheers,
Brian
 

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No it bolts to the engine block - no more cast headers.
Keep in mind your car is 3" shorter then the 1600z so you may have to cut and weld.



 
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Discussion Starter #377 (Edited)
Completed the Motherlode400 this weekend!

I built this car to drive it hard and this was the first real opportunity to do so!

400+ miles of hard driving - at times flat out - in 100deg + weather between 3000-9000ft of altitude. Spent time chasing a '69 GTV, a Giulietta sedan (with a two-liter and 4-wheel discs) along with a number of race and rally prepped BMWs, Datsuns and Porsches.

All I can say is "holy f**ing sh*t". The car handled like a champ. It's not the fastest car in the field but it corners like nothing else I saw (perhaps with the exception of Conrad's Panamericana SS and a couple of other race prepped cars).

There were a number of dirt sections and some seriously hairy, single-lane twisties up and down the walls of Tuolumne Gorge and in and around Yosemite. Some truly epic GT and rally roads that offered terror and glee for all participants.

The car ran a bit on the hot side which is to be expected. I was driving consistently around 5000rpm which seems to be the optimal power range for the 1750 in the car.

Towards the end I could hear a few things coming lose, including the timing chain. I'm going to disassemble the car to clean under the nose plexi, under the hood, in and around the interior, etc.

I'll take a look at the valves and other engine stuff once the Giulia is able to roll out of the garage under its own power...

For photos, look at my instagram - brian_okelley

cheers,
Brian
 

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Congrats - that's pretty awesome and as the Alfa Gods intended the cars to be used. Stewart Sandeman installed the Magnaflow exhaust on my 1600 as well. I almost had him rip it off again as I thought the car;s aural note was way to roary and I kinda prefered the stock set up ... but I left it on :)

Mike
 
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Good times!

Did you get many rock chips etc? After all the work you put into the car, I hope the dirt roads were not too hard on her.
I drove my 1300 JrZ the other day on our flat lands for the first time in a while, and I was reminded why I love this car. The steering and handling is just so sweet.
Thanks for sharing the pix. I saw the ones on BAT as well as the ones Ben Buja posted. Ben is the Volvo brick guy and his brother is married to my sister.

I want to drive Conrad's Frankenstein SS!
 

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Discussion Starter #380
Rock chips happen. There are a couple of small ones from general driving - other people's cars throwing rocks, etc. From a cursory inspection I didn't see anything too crazy. I'm going to get the car up on jackstands and do some general maintenance (oil change, install an aluminum radiator, suspension inspection) so I'll get a better picture then.

The bigger frowny-face is driving through fresh/loose blacktop. I can't stand that stuff. It gets into every nook and cranny of the car and sticks to everything. I had a 1750 spider that I drove cross country back in the early oughts. When I got home I took off the wheels and removed 25lbs of blacktop gravel...

These are driver's cars. Yes, the value has gone up over the years but I'm not going to be precious about my Z. I'm keeping it off the track for the time being, but fully intend to take it on more rallies. I hope some of you Z people will join me at some point! I know most of you feel the same way I do :^)

cheers,
Brian
 
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